The History of Talking Books and Their Various Weird Formats

Books on Vinyl

It’s the great challenge of a newsletter editor when they hear this phrase—“hey, this newsletter would be really good as a podcast!” We understand the demand for things like this, because people love sounds running into their ears when they’re on the go, and you have to physically press your fingers down on your phone to read any of your favorite publications.

But many of us are way more clever and way less likely to say “like” and “y’know” when we write things down, so that’s why this comes in a text format. However, there is in fact an interesting history around stories being told in audio form that has nothing to do with either This American Life, podcasts like the excellent Reply All, or the books-as-MP3s service Audible.

Today issue talks about the important role that the loss of one sense—that is, blindness—played in the creation of a medium perfect for another.

Check out some of the books on vinyl and other crazy formats!